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Chemical Transformations Initiative
Dr. Mike Lilga Applied Electrocatalysis Team Chemical and Biological Process Development
Energy and Environment Directorate

Mike's research focuses on the catalytic and electrocatalytic conversion of biomass-derived materials to renewable transportation fuels and chemicals. Processes that use catalysts to enable high carbon efficiencies, low temperature and/or pressure conditions, and control of product selectivities are of particular interest. A goal for fuel production is to develop methods for the production of open-chain hydrocarbon blend stocks for jet and diesel fuels. Routes to both drop-in and new chemical products are being developed. Methods range from catalyst screening using combinatorial methods, to 1-5 cm3 flow reactors, to 30-70 cm3 flow reactors, and 50-300 cm3 batch reactors.

Processes developed include dehydrations, oxidations, reductions, polyol cracking, olefin oligomerization, and olefin metathesis. The electrochemical stabilization and upgrading of bio oil is being studied in experimental and theoretical investigations. His work has been conducted for DOE and for numerous industrial collaborators.

  • Development of catalysts and catalytic processes for the production of biorenewable transportation fuels,
  • Development of catalysts and processes for value-added chemical products from biomass,
  • Distinguished inventor with 17 issued patents in the area of catalysis and renewable fuels and chemical production.

Chemical Transformations Initiative